Chronicle of a Stem Cell Transplant (and on through to the other side)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Endings and Beginnings

Nous sommes arriv├ęs! This last week has certainly been a whirlwind, but we managed to get everything done and are now relaxing (well, somewhat) in Montreal. I had an incredible few days before I left that included visits with family and friends, as well as a great morning with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training group last Sunday. It was with Team in Training that I did the Vancouver Marathon last May.

That's me in the middle of the back row, between coaches Lisa and Angela

My dear friend, Lisa, who fundraised and trained every step of the way with me last year is coaching this season and I have had the privilege of being an honorary team member.

Here she is with some of her team members doing a short (18km, was it?) training session.

During this current season, I have received the most incredible emails of support and encouragement from the Team and it is really something to know that there are people taking time out of their busy lives to raise money and awareness for blood cancers. Speaking of which, Lisa, who, needless to say, is incredible (but also a bit of a nutter), has now signed herself up for a Team in Training century ride in Honolulu. As soon as she gets her fundraising page up and running, I will be posting it here so we can help her to meet her goal by September. What a woman.

Another highlight of last week was the final session of the eight week writing series I've been co-facilitating at Callanish (the extraordinary non-profit I've been involved with, in other ways, for the last two years). The group completed so many stunning pieces over the course of the series that it seemed appropriate to honour this work in some way. While there were a few technical glitches (that had us thinking Kinko's would do just fine), with the support of my friend and fellow writer, Allison, we were able to publish a gorgeous book showcasing the work of the first-ever writing group at Callanish.

If I hadn't been editing into the wee hours of the morning, I might have caught that run-on sentence in the second paragraph!

Of course, celebration aside, there were all sorts of other details to take care of before we left...Ian had to wrap things up at his school and deliver a final presentation at SFU for his Masters on Saturday. Also, for a brief moment in time, he was in possession of a pair of Rush tickets (his favorite band, god knows why...) that his loving wife surprised him with before she realized they would be relocating to Montreal prior to the show. Quel domage! No glimpses of Getty Lee in leather pants for me.

Ian lamenting the loss...

We also had to sort out arrangements for Miles (who's gone to his mom's temporarily) and Finn (who's gone to my mom's, also temporarily). Here I am with Finn after I told him the bad news. As you can see, he's devastated.

Finally, we made it to the airport on Tuesday morning. Luckily, you can't see all our luggage.

Now in Montreal, we walked around downtown and at McGill before going up to the hospital on Wednesday.

This is the very scary-looking Royal Victoria Hospital where I am receiving the clinical trial. I hope Stephen King isn't my doctor. Oh well, who cares what it looks like, as long as it works.